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Planning for Retirement


grandparents-1969824_960_720.jpgCC0/ sylviebliss/Pixabay

Your retirement should be seen as a reward for all the years you spend at work but don’t sit back and expect it to be a breeze because it won’t be if you haven’t managed your pension throughout your working life. Taking advice from experts on pensions and making the right decisions on where to put the money you’re accruing is part of the process, but you should also take care when deciding on the type of pension you pay into as there are advantages and disadvantages with each. You’re probably already aware that you can opt for a 401k or an IRA pension but have you taken the time to look into each?

Everything Changes

Things change with time. Our families grow up. We decide to move home. We change jobs or cut back on our hours at work and with every change that you make or that’s made for you, your pension needs to be adjusted to remain in line with the lifestyle you’ll expect to enjoy in your old age. A new home could be more expensive to maintain. A growing family could mean that you need access to more of your income leaving less for your pension. A change at work could see you with more or less disposable money so don’t keep blindly paying into your pension without considering whether your new circumstances require a different type of pension.


401k Pension

The 401k pension remains the most popular type of employer-sponsored retirement plan in America. It’s only been available since 1978 so today there will still be workers who were not able to take advantage of it when they first entered employment. The relative flexibility of this type of pension is its main selling point but it’s also popular because it’s offered so widely by employers. This pension is paid into on a monthly basis and in most cases the contributions are taken straight from the worker’s paycheck before tax, but you can opt for a Roth 401k pension which accrues the funds after tax is taken.


IRA Pension

When you’re told that IRA stands for individual retirement account you won’t necessarily get a great understanding of what this type of pension is all about. An IRA is a basically a saving account where employees can deposit 15 percent of their annual wage per year up to a maximum of $1,500. A traditional IRA doesn’t tax the deposits as tax is paid when the money is taken out during retirement but a Roth IRA does the opposite so that you’ll have more money in hand during your golden years. You don’t need to choose between a 401k pension and an IRA because you can have both but most people choose one or the other knowing that they have the option of rolling their pension over.


How to Rollover a 401k to an IRA

As with any financial product there are a host of rules and regulations to adhere to when you rollover your 401k pension into an IRA. You’ll need to contact a financial specialist in order to move the assets from your employer-sponsored retirement plan to an IRA, which normally takes two to three weeks to complete. Having opened an IRA first, request a direct rollover distribution from your current pension provider. When the asset has rolled into the IRA, decide where to invest it.


What’s a Gold IRA?

Do you like the idea of your pension assets being gold rather than cash, stocks, and bonds? If so, you could opt for a Gold IRA. Since the Great Recession, gold has been seen as a more reliable way of securing your pension savings. This type of pension is worth taking out in addition to a traditional IRA as the price of gold generally moves in the opposite direction to paper assets so you’ll be hedging your bets as long as you have both types of pension.

What’s Best?

The average guy won’t be able to live very well if he relies on Social Security benefit so a pension is essential. The choice of 401k or IRA pensions in traditional or Roth options seems a little bit challenging to begin with but don’t forget that you can opt for more than one pension. You can also help secure your future by putting your money into assets such as properties that can be sold to release capital when you need it in your old age. If you organize your pensions well, you might be able to leave work a little earlier than you initially thought.